Finding God's Winning Spirit

Sports Theology

Sports psychology is (a) the study of the psychological and mental factors that influence and are influenced by participation and performance in sport, exercise, and physical activity, and (b) the application of the knowledge gained through this study to everyday settings. Sports theology, when related to the highest level of athletic performance, is based on the premise that superior athletic ability is a God-given gift. Sports theology has the same goals and purpose as sports psychology, but rather sees pure personal excellence based in a relationship with Christ.

Although it is true that athletes can benefit from mental and physical techniques, sports theology proposes that athletic potential is grounded in the original athleticism they are given by God. God encourages us to develop and maximize the gifts he has given us.  Performance then is related to one’s ability to understand, develop, and act on these gifts.

Sports theology has a different perspective when it comes to maximizing athletic potential. In sports theology, a particular athletic ability is a given and so is the idea that God wants us to maximize it.  The issue for the Christian athlete then becomes understanding those things that prevent his or her athletic potential.  The goal then is not as much about learning something new to perform better, but to limit the distractions that hinder performance.  The key to performing spiritually is to respect and protect the gifts that we are given.

Performing at the highest level, athletically or in any area of life, requires that one understand who he or she is, in relationship to God.  In this sense, it is erroneous to think that mental (psychological) techniques will succeed when an individual’s life is not in concert with God.  Those individuals who do not live their lives in a spiritual manner limit their ability to perform at the highest level.

Sports theology improves the performance of athletes, but because it is a focused spiritual discipline on performance, it is applicable for any “driven” person in business or in sports. In fact, Greg Smith Counseling has counseled professional and collegiate athletes and coaches, as well as leaders in business and industry.

God has pre-ordained our purpose and success by the gifts he has given us. Our potential and personal value is not in question as we are specifically made.  Personal fulfillment and peace does not come from what we find or obtain in the world but rather comes from understanding and utilizing the gifts God has given us. This is the key to finding our winning spirit!